Uncategorized

Risa McMahon, SouthPort FUNdamentals

(Photo by Brittany Welch Photography) Website Class and Event Space, Chicago Organizations: Uptown Business Center, Uptown Chamber of Commerce Services Utilized: Secure licenses, Buy or rent space, Improve marketing, Update business plan Risa McMahon had the idea to start Southport FUNdamentals in March of 2023 while she was...

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Naomi Tolbert, Goddess Good Food

Website Frozen Cauliflower Pizzas Organizations: Allies for Community Business, The Polsky Exchange Services Utilized: Create Business Plan, Price Products, Improve Marketing, Develop Partners Naomi Tolbert didn’t anticipate becoming an entrepreneur, let alone the founder of the frozen cauliflower pizza line Goddess Good Food. “I was raised by my great-grandparents....

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Lateshia Jackson, A & L Environmental LLC

Website Hazardous Waste Removal Organizations: Allies for Community Business Services Utilized: Apply for a GrantApply for a Loan Lateshia Jackson’s journey to start a company was an unexpected one. Throughout her career as a nurse, her husband Anthony worked in hazardous waste removal. However, he only worked seasonally, despite being employed...

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Julia Perkins, Studio Yogi

Website Yoga Studio, Chicago Organizations: SomerCor, Community Reinvestment Fund, USA, Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC) Chicago Services Utilized: Apply for a Grant, Apply for a Loan After 25 years as a nonprofit consultant, Julia Perkins didn’t expect to start a yoga studio. After being diagnosed with osteoarthritis at...

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El Charro Chicago Business

Juan and Rafael Vázquez, El Charro De San Francisco

Website Restaurant, Chicago Organizations: Calumet Area Industrial Commission Services Utilized: Secure LicensesApply for a Grant The owners of El Charro de San Francisco are no strangers to the value of hard work. The Vázquez & Guzmán family have been on a 22-year journey to make El Charro De San Francisco the popular...

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Danny Park, RoboThink

Danny Park, RoboThink Website Educational Company, Lake Bluff, IL Organizations: Asian American Chamber of Commerce Services Utilized: Develop Partners to Increase Sales, Join Accelerator Danny Park didn’t plan on becoming an entrepreneur. After graduating from college, Danny thought he would get job as an accountant. The idea for RoboThink started with a friend who...

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Angel and Araceli Nacipucha, Los Barriles

Website Restaurant, Chicago Organizations: North River Commission/Albany Park Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Business Development Center Services Utilized: Secure Licenses, Apply for a Loan, Improve Marketing, Establish Online For Angel and Araceli Nacipucha, restaurants are a family business. The husband and wife co-owners of...

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Megan Awada, Wicked Plants

Website Plant Shop, Chicago Organizations: Lakeview Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Business Development Center, SCORE Chicago Services Utilized: Establish Goals, Buy or Rent Space, Improve Marketing Megan Awada never imagined that her hobby of growing house plants would turn into Wicked Plants, the plant shop she now...

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Pauline Sylvain-Lewis, Max Candle Co.

Website Aromatherapy Candles, Chicago, IL Organizations: Far South Community Development Corporation Services Utilized: Buy or Rent Space, Increase Sales, Certify as WBE/MBE After spending twenty years working in social services, Pauline Sylvain-Lewis didn’t expect to start a candle company. After the unexpected passing of her brother Maxime, who her business is...

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